Main Street/Shop Local

    My Home Town: An Author's Take on the Coming of a Chain

    The following column by Amy Stewart, author of The Earth Moved: On the Remarkable Achievements of Earthworms, forthcoming from Algonquin Books (January 2004), originally appeared in the May 8 edition of Humboldt County, California's North Coast Journal.

    Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses

    On Saturday, May 31, at BookExpo America in Los Angeles, the session "Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses" attracted a large crowd of independent booksellers who came to hear about a recent study that documented how local retailers contribute more to the local economy than do national retailers. The panel featured Steve Bercu, CEO of BookPeople in Austin, Texas, and Dan Houston of Civic Economics, who discussed the report "Economic Impact Analysis -- A Case Study: Local Merchants vs.

    * * * Countdown to Book Expo * * * Economic Impact Analysis Takes Center Stage at ABA Panel Discussion

    On Saturday, May 31, from 10:30 to noon at BookExpo America, the panel "Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses" will give attendees the opportunity to see firsthand the results of a study showing the economic impact of chains versus local, independent retailers.

    Helping Maintain Austin's Independence: BTW Talks with BookPeople's Steve Bercu

    Steve Bercu, owner of BookPeople in Austin, Texas

    Last summer, Steve Bercu, the owner of the independent bookstore BookPeople, joined with Waterloo Records, the Austin Independent Business Alliance, and Liveable City, a local, nonprofit community organization, in a campaign to keep

    Think Globally, Shop Locally: Santa Fe Independent Businesses Band Together

    In Santa Fe, New Mexico, independents are putting into practice the adage "There's power in numbers." Local independent retailers, community organizations, and businesses have joined together to form the Santa Fe Independent Business Community Alliance (SFIBCA) -- a nonprofit coalition that aims to improve the local economy by driving consumers to local, independent retailers.

    Borders Pulls Out of Austin Development

    On April 23, Borders Books & Music announced that it was pulling out of a proposed Austin, Texas, development situated across the street from two independent retailers, BookPeople and Waterloo Records. The bookstore chain's plans to open a store at Sixth and Lamar in downtown Austin had stirred up strong opposition. Liveable City, a local, nonprofit community organization, commissioned an economic study indicating that local merchants contribute significantly more money to the local economy than do retail chains.

    Additional Resources on Main Street Alliances

    Here are additional resources on supporting locally owned businesses.

    The New Rules Project -- Promoting rules and policies that foster strong, self-conscious and self-determining communities.

    Study Detailing the Significant Contribution of Main Street Retailers to Local Economies Now Available to Independent Booksellers

    In our ongoing coverage of the public debate regarding the retail makeup of a proposed government-subsidized development in Austin, Texas, BTW has cited an economic study commissioned by Liveable City and The Austin Independent Business Alliance (AIBA), local nonprofit groups. The study documents how local merchants contribute significantly more to the local economy than do retail chains.

    Austin Residents Won't Be Boxed In

    On Tuesday, January 21, almost all of the approximately 200 Austin, Texas, city residents at a community forum gave a proposed development that would bring Borders Books & Music to downtown Austin a resounding thumbs down, as reported by the Austin American-Statesman.

    Study Reports Chains Contribute Less to Local Economy

    On December 10, Austin-based Liveable City, a local nonprofit group, released an economic study claiming that local merchants contribute significantly more money to the local economy than do retail chains. Steve Bercu, owner of Austin's BookPeople, told BTW that the study proves what local retailers have known all along through anecdotal evidence. "We knew that chain stores impacted the local economy in a negative way," he said.

    Independent Bookstore Helps Revitalize Main Street

    The river's end bookstore,

    Independent Bookstores Oppose Proposed Retail Developments

    Independent booksellers in Austin and Chicago are protesting the fact that developers could receive multi-million dollar incentives from their respective cities to facilitate retail developments that have signed tenant agreements with national chain Borders Books & Music. The booksellers contend that using financial incentives for developments that solicit national chains is unfair to local retailers.

    Homegrown Economics: How Boulder Businesses Are Staying Ahead of the Chains

    By Stacy Mitchell

    Bookseller Fears Buyers Will Be Bound in Chains

    The following profile of independent bookselling in Chicago, and of ABA’s new president, Ann Christophersen of Women & Children First, originally appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times.

    By Lee Copeland

    Ann Christophersen has been battling a turf war with Borders for the last two years.

    The bookselling giant wants to open a 20,000-square-foot store in Uptown, about a mile from her Andersonville shop -- Women & Children First Bookstore.

    Day 3 at BookExpo America -- BEA in High Gear Features Titles, Authors, and the Most Exciting Two Minutes in Sports

    Big crowds were moving through the trade show floor all day Saturday collecting galleys, autographs, and totebags.


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